By Emma C. Pfister, Water For People
On Earth Day most of the water conservation talk is around turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, taking shorter showers, making sure your sprinklers are actually aiming for your lawn. These are great “to-dos” and we all need to-do them. But what if you had no faucet and the nearest water source was down a ravine one kilometer away? What if the only shower you had was a nearby pond where cattle also bathed? Would your to-do list be different? For 783 million people in the world their “to-do” list is actually a “have-to-do” list.
When water is scarce you learn how to use every ounce of it as many times as possible. Re-utilizing hand washing water to water plants, planting trees around a water source to prevent erosion and dumping grey water into a soak pit instead of tossing it down the river are all methods of conservation used in the communities where Water For People works to promote the sustainability of the local watershed.
All of these little practices roll-up into one really big practice – Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). In a nutshell IWRM is the Big Picture from national policy to simple behavior changes on a daily basis with shorter showers, re-using dishwater to water plants, not dumping your Canola oil down the sink and the simple action of planting trees, all roll -up to make positive changes in our local watersheds. It is one less pollutant being thrown into the water and a few more gallons of water for the next person. All of this is us – developing and developed world – taking an active role to guarantee the future of water for everyone, forever.
Water For People helps make every day Earth Day in the communities where we work. To learn more about our sustainable water and sanitation programming for Everyone, Forever, please visit us at www.waterforpeople.org/everyone.
ABOUT WATER FOR PEOPLE
Water For People is an innovative and impactful next-generation international nonprofit that believes investments made in water and sanitation services must lead to lasting and transformative change. The organization is dedicated to helping people in developing countries gain access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education. Water For People’s entrepreneurial approach establishes partnerships between government agencies, nongovernment organizations, and private enterprise to create self-managed water and sanitation services that reach everyone and also last forever. Learn more at www.waterforpeople.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
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